Georgia Background Check

Georgia Background Check

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If you’re a business owner or employer in the state of Georgia, then you know doing business in the Peach State has plentiful advantages that other states don’t have.  Georgia is often lauded as a great state for businesses. The state has a pro-business environment, low taxes, and a skilled workforce. Georgia is also a right-to-work state, meaning employees cannot be forced to join a union. But what about hiring the right employees?  While your business may run in a conducive environment, who you hire (and how you conduct your pre-hire process) can make a big difference in your overall business success. With this in mind, here are some facts every employer should know about getting a Georgia background check and Georgia background check laws.

What is a Background Check?

A background check is a screening process that checks an individual’s criminal history, employment history, and other public records. Employers commonly use background checks to screen job applicants and determine if they are qualified for the position.

Georgia Background Check

How to Get a Background Check in Georgia

It is important for employers to know how to obtain a background check in Georgia so that they can make informed hiring decisions.

There are a few different ways that employers can get a background check in Georgia. One way to get a Georgia criminal background check is to request one from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). The GBI provides criminal history information on individuals who have been convicted of felonies and certain misdemeanors in Georgia. Employers can request a background check by completing the Request for Criminal History Record Information form and submitting it to the GBI.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety also offers a background check service for employers. This service provides criminal history information on individuals who have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), hit and run, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, or vehicular homicide in Georgia. Employers can request this type of background check by completing the Request for Motor Vehicle Report form and submitting it to the Department of Public Safety.

It is important for employers to understand that these background checks are only meant to provide information on an applicant’s past convictions. They will not include other vital information such as employment history, personal referrals or educational background.  This is why most employers in Georgia opt to use services for background checks such as PreSearch. We gather all the information you need while abiding by all federal and Georgia background check laws. What you receive is an accurate, thorough, and legally compliant background report that can help you make better hiring decisions.


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How Long Does a Background Check Take in Georgia?

If you’re an employer in Georgia, you might be wondering how long a background check will take for your pre-hire. The answer depends on a few factors, including the type of background check being performed and the agency conducting the check.

For instance, if you opt to obtain a Georgia criminal background check from the state’s Bureau of Investigation, you could be waiting weeks to receive that information. This is because state-run agencies are notoriously overwhelmed with requests, understaffed, and not always the most efficient.

Moreover, if you conduct a Georgia background check in-house, it could take your staff several days to collect other information that is not revealed in a criminal history.  Contacting previous employers, confirming past education, and calling other references can take staff members a long time.  Not to mention, this is a highly detailed process that demands accuracy as well as full compliance with Georgia background check laws.  For this and other reasons, most employers in Georgia elect to use a quick background check service such as PreSearch for fast, accurate results.

What Shows Up on a Georgia Background Check?

If you’re an employer in Georgia, you have options as to what type of information shows up on a background check for trusted employees.  If you are going through GBI, or the department of safety – you’re only going to get criminal or vehicular history.  Here are a few other things you can obtain on applicants’ background checks in the state of Georgia.

  • Personal information: This will include the employee’s name, date of birth, Social Security number, and current address.
  • Employment history: The background check will show where the employee has worked in the past, as well as their job titles and dates of employment.
  • Education history: The background check will list the employee’s educational institutions and highest degree earned.
  • Criminal history: Any convictions or arrests on the employee’s record will be listed on the background check. This includes both misdemeanors and felonies.
  • Financial history: The background check may also include information about the employee’s credit history and any bankruptcies or liens on their record.

Do Pending Charges Show Up On Background Checks in Georgia?

If an employer in Georgia wants to run a background check on an employee, they may be wondering if pending charges will show up. The answer is that it depends. Generally speaking, most employers will be able to see convictions, and in some cases, they may also see pending charges. 

For example, if an employer is running a background check for the purpose of determining if an employee is eligible for a promotion or raise, they may be able to see pending charges that are relevant to the job in question and the salary the applicant may stand to earn. 

In general, most employers in Georgia can see pending charges on an employee’s background check. This means that if an applicant has been arrested, but the case is still pending, it is likely that you, as the employer, will find out about it through a background check. 

How Far Back Does a Criminal Background Check Go in Georgia?

The Georgia 7 year background check standard is typically followed by most employers. That means an applicant’s information is revealed seven years prior to the date of applying for the job.  Other information such as education, employment history can go past the seven year lookback standard. 

In Georgia, a criminal background check can go back as far as the employer wants it to. However, most employers only look back seven years. This is because, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers can only get information that is accurate, relevant, and not outdated for the job they are hiring for.

Georgia Background Check Laws

Georgia is one of the states that have adopted what is known as the “ban the box” law. This law prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their criminal records on initial job applications. The goal of this law is to give ex-offenders a better chance at getting jobs and to reduce recidivism rates.

However, employers are still allowed to run background checks on job applicants and can ask about an applicant’s criminal history during interviews. Employers can also refuse to hire an applicant if they have a criminal record that is relevant to the job.

In addition to following state laws, Georgia employers must also abide by federal pre-hire regulations.  With this in mind, here are a few laws that every business owner or hiring manager should know about while conducting background checks in the state of Georgia. 

Georgia Background Check

Federal Laws on Employment Background Checks

In the state of Georgia, employers are allowed to conduct employee background checks so long as they adhere to federal laws. 

Civil Rights Act,Title VII

In Georgia, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The Act makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any individual with respect to his or her compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

The Civil Rights Act also prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, and other employment practices. An employer may not use an employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin to make employment decisions. Additionally, an employer may not segregate or classify employees in a way that would limit their opportunities for advancement because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that regulates how consumer credit information can be used, including for Georgia background check for employment purposes. Under the FCRA, employers must obtain written consent from an applicant or employee before ordering a background check from a consumer reporting agency.

The FCRA also requires employers to provide a notice to applicants and employees informing them that a background check may be conducted as part of the hiring process. In addition, employers must give applicants and employees a copy of their rights under the FCRA before conducting a background check.

Georgia Employment Background Check Laws

If you’re an employer in Georgia, it’s important to know the state laws regarding employee background checks. Here are the most crucial state laws you should know about. 

Ban The Box

In 2012, the Georgia legislature passed the Fair Chance Employment Act, which prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an initial job application. The law is also known as “ban the box” because it requires employers to remove the question about criminal history from job applications.

7 Year Background Check

A Georgia background check need to abide by the FCRA’s 7 year lookback period. To explain, pre-screen employment checks are not permitted to uncover any criminal activity more than seven years old.  This includes arrest information that did not conclude with convictions older than seven years. 

OCGA 42-8-60

The OCGA 42-8-60 statute states that first-offender information may not be used to determine if a candidate should be denied employment.  However, there are exceptions. If the candidate will be working within organizations such as nursing homes, schools, banking, daycare or in an environment with vulnerable people, or developmentally disabled – OCGA 42-8-60 states that employers may then consider first-time offenses on an applicant’s criminal background report.

How Much Does A Background Check Cost in Georgia?

The cost of a state of Georgia employment background check will vary depending on the type of check being performed and who is performing it. Generally, a simple criminal history check through the GBI currently costs $27.75 per report.   

While this might sound reasonable, employers should factor in the amount of time and energy required to complete a comprehensive background report.  As mentioned earlier, doing background checks in-house can be time-consuming, and the cost of man-hours to perform such tasks can add up quickly.

Performing a background check is an important part of the hiring process for many employers. It is important to remember, however, that the cost of a background check should not be the only factor considered when making a hiring decision.


*a select number of states charge an additional, mandatory, county court fee in addition to our standard service fee.

Please reach out if you would like a quote for background screening services.

How PreSearch Can Help With Background Check Services in Georgia

PreSearch is a powerful tool that can help with background check services in Georgia. By using PreSearch, employers can search for criminal records, sex offender registries, and other public records. This information can help you decide who to hire and how to protect your business assets best.  Moreover, with PreSearch, you can rest assured you are getting the highest quality, most accurate, quick, and thorough results.  When it comes to running your business right and safely, you can’t afford not to use an experienced, qualified background check service such as PreSearch. Give us a call today so we can prove how we can satisfy your pre-hire needs.


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